tv [untitled] July 7, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PDT
retail facilities on the north side. the thing i'm very concerned about is the impact of the van ness brt and add to becoming an extension of fiber one instead of the way it is currently where we have multiple intersections taking the in-bound movement to downtown along venice's. i think that needs to be looked at. this is a project in motion. this is a good spot analysis, but there are many other changes, which i think you need to continuously monitor before you settle on what the solutions are. you addressed the issue of broadway on the tunnel. there is also a strong movement of using the street that strip lands, going up to nob hill, going up to taylor and distributing from there.
there is a subset of movement which does need to be taken into consideration. hopefully, the more funds you have to keep the current project and other things coming on line, and you need to reconsider those moves. >> i wanted to thank staff because these products do exemplify more progressive thinking in terms of outreach and how we think about these streets. both streets are a serious challenge in the sense that we all kind of had to agree that the amount of traffic volume of these streets maintain today probably is not going to be lessened by much, and we had to maintain those traffic volumes while at the same time make it much safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. unlike other streets, that is where we are able to reduce traffic capacity.
these are two streets where we were not able to. it was an interesting challenge for us. but i also think that this is an interesting model for us in terms of public outrage. commissioner sugaya: i assume because of the nature of the grant, your scope in a sense was limited? because, for example, you have under community priorities in the chinatown/broadway area, the community priority of support institutions and local businesses apparently was voiced by the local community, but i assume, given the restrictions on the grant, you could not really been grabbed a hold of that and move forward with it as much as some of us maybe what have liked to have seen. is that right? >> that is correct.
the scope of the work was looking at the streetscape design. i think we wanted to acknowledge that. by now, we're looking at the east/west bank and looking at ways that we can use sine age or other ways to advertise or brand the corridor. the economic development perhaps comes later. commissioner sugaya: as long as we do not forget that was raised by the community itself. i am not one for a lot of sign controls and storefront controls, but i happened to be in the area of the other day, and i thought -- this is really a mess. but this did not seem to hang together right. commissioner moore: driving in that area as well as walking, i am concerned that the not just
aging, but the old population who is operating in that corridor requires special attention. these people are not just walking slowly, but they are also on walkers or in wheelchairs for all being assisted by another person getting across. it requires a timing of signalization on this intersections, which really need to be looked at very carefully, including the type of services you would put people on. it requires some re-education about when to go or not to go, but the sheer time it takes to get across requires a larger increase -- a longer increment than what is currently allowed. commissioner fong: thank you. great work. >> commissioners, this will place you on your 5:00 p.m. calendar.
g, public comment on agenda items where the public hearing has been close. members of the public who wish to address the commission on agenda items that have already been reviewed at a public hearing at which members of the public were allowed to testify and the public hearing has been closed must do so at this time. each member of the public may address the commission for up to three minutes. i have several speaker cards. commissioner fong: i think we are going to take a two-minute break while staff it's prepared for this item. >> to welcome everyone back to the san francisco planning commission regular hearing for thursday, june 20, june, 2012. a lot of people in the audience. i would like to remind everyone to turn off any mobile devices that may sound off during the hearing or at least silence
them. please speaking -- please speak directly into the microphone and state your name for the record. we left off on public, on the agenda items were public hearing has been closed. there is only one item to which this pertains, which is case 17, the 1601 like in st. certification of the final environmental about report. i would like to request an remind everyone who has decided to speak on this item to speak only to the certification of the final environmental impact report and not the project itself. your opportunity to speak to the project will come up later in the hearing. i have also been advised by the commission president that each speaker will be limited to two minutes. again, public comment on agenda items were the public hearing has been closed. commissioner fong: i will call a
bunch of names in order, and if you want to line up on this side of the room, we will get through. [reading names] >> good evening, commissioners. i am each share of the coalition for san francisco neighborhoods land use and housing committee. i would like to read part of a newsletter. this was the june newsletter. i will read portions of it. "ceqa mandates are considering alternatives concerning adaptive reuse, partial preservation before the elimination of a significant historic resourced. ceqa also for have it's altering significant buildings before approval.
it is unfortunate it has not been done. going on, 2010, planning commission, commissioners agreed that the eir was not certified any plan for an outside condo building was rejected when the developer failed to consider alternatives to preserve a historic resource. removing a significant resource is prohibited without some effort to identify the options for adaptive reuse or partial preservation. csfm strongly from its efforts to preserve historic buildings and opposes progress of demolition tactics to win project approval. we believe san francisco will greatly benefit only if the store preservation laws and ceqa
laws are strictly enforced. thank you. >> good evening. i am representing the middle polk neighborhood association. two years ago, we came before you about this same project and the problems with the eir we discussed over a long hearing, mainly revolving around the failure to consider alternatives. the problem with that was based on a too narrow project description -- excuse me, project objectives, which was actually a project description. the request to have the maximum number of development unit's allowed under the planning code is not inappropriate project objective. it should be a viable multi-year project on the site. in light of the problems with
the eir and also because it was obvious that this project which would cause significant environmental impact could not be approved unless there was an overriding public benefit, which could not be found, the commission denied the project and exempted it from ceqa for purposes of the nile. that was challenged in court and vigorously defended by your counsel, successfully. it has been going just fine, and we ask that you do the same thing tonight. the eir has not been -- the problems are still there. things had just gotten worse. while everyone would like to see something happen, it needs to be done properly. we ask that the commission give direction but exempt the project from ceqa and deny it. thank you. >> commissioners, i live at clay
street within 300 feet of the project site. i want to show you a time line. the top line basically showed you two years beginning june 24, 2010 when the project was not approved. on june 7, 2010, a number of us were served with third-party witness subpoenas by the project sponsor, and a little while after that, the tenderloin neighborhood development corporation was also serve with a subpoena. there has been kind of radio silence from the project sponsor for two years while this has been in litigation, up until may 23, 2012, when i received a call from dennis ferreira instructing me that i should meet with the architect. -- from dennis herrerra.
if the project sponsor concerts me with a subpoena, they could find me. the other thing -- a comparison of two years to one month. look at all this activity. on may 30, we had a presentation from the architect. on june 7, there was a presentation here. on the 12th, members of middle polk net and delivered what we are looking for with the product. on june 17, while the project sponsor was playing golf, we were told we would be given a concession of 24 inches for this project. i feel that we are running out of time here. we request that weeir needs to be -- we request that the eir be recirculated. there has not been enough time for anyone to present this to the hpc. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners.
member of the american institute of architects, and an architect here in san francisco. with regard to the eir, i want to address the issue of the blight. the blight that the proposed project would remove is a function in part of the treatment of the building for the past five years. the owner of the building and sponsor have provided no exterior lighting, even though the fixtures exist. there is no power to the building. it is a registered vacant building. there is no fence on the vacant lot for a number of years. it would come and go again. it made this site a magnet for homeless and all sorts of other illicit behavior is. the church has been piecemeal picked apart, not by the owner of the church, not by the methodist council, but by the sponsor and his workmen.
they do not own the building, but they have been looting the church. they took the wood flooring out of the sunday school. the dbi director caught them in the act when neighbors reported work being done without a permit. it was later relate to the neighbors that the wood flooring was sold for use in a restaurant. the door hardware disappeared from the front doors the week after the designation report mentioned the door hardware was still there. the floor of the tower was left open to the elements, and we could see water stains from the holes in the floor of the tower and pigeon droppings from the fact that birds were allowed into the building. the dry rot investigations the sponsor made from the outside left the building open to the weather for more than a year. no repairs were made to the peace that fell off, and the sponsor removed other portions
of it on the larkin street side. thank you very much. >> good evening, commissioners. my name is robyn tucker. i am the co-share of the pacific avenue neighborhood association. our association generally defers to the neighbors and the neighborhoods where a particular project is proposed, especially where they are directly impacted. however, with this budget the project has the potential to impact not only the neighborhood where it is proposed but other neighborhoods throughout the city, we felt it important to appear today. i would like to make just two statements related to the eir. it is - standing that the latest development plans proposed are
essentially the same as the plans that were deferred or denied for further development by the planning commission two years ago, and despite the appearance of modest setbacks in the new plan, the structure will overwhelm the surrounding buildings and greatly compromised the community's access to light, air, and open space. you only need to visit the sick and polk streets to see a similar book-sized building beginning to rise. it is only two stories high, and already, neighbors are saying to meet -- what happened? we are already seeing the sky blighted and air and light be affected. thank you very much. commissioner fong: let me call a
couple more names. [reading names] >> hello. i am the president of the cathedral homemakers' association and members -- member of the san francisco home networks. this project is of concern to the neighborhood network for many reasons, but particularly, i want to focus on process. the process that has taken place in this project has been that after the project was denied in 2010, the developer, instead of going through the details process, sued the city, subpoenaed the neighbors and nonprofit organizations working on the project, deliberately deteriorated the building, did
not bargain in good faith with the city, the neighbors, or any of the concerned citizens of san francisco, and we are before you again with the same project two years later. we are all dealing with planning processes, and we expect the planning process to be respected, rather than going to court and imperiling community activists that are trying to represent their neighborhood by making them retain lawyers. this developer deliberately subverted the project and has threatened and harassed the proponents. we would ask you not to certify it, not to grant the conditional use at this time. thank you. >> good evening. i am with the middle polk
neighborhood association. i lived a block and a half from the project and have been involved since 2007. as is been stated already, in 2010, the eir was not certified because of deficiencies. now, we are looking to certify this eir, but it has not been recirculated. we have been told by the planning department that the reason is that the changes to the eir are not that significant, but i of the changes are not that significant, how can they address the deficiencies of the eir of 2010? if indeed there are significant changes, it should be recirculated for public comment. the whole purpose of this process is to allow citizens of san francisco to have input into the development process in san francisco.
please do not certify the eir tonight. thank you. >> commissioners, i live at 1601 sacramento, one block from the project site. this has been an onerous process, given the legal claims involved. regarding the charges communication with the neighbors. the church reached out, it has been misstated that we were non responsive. numerous neighbors have been involved at the onset.
despite the legal actions involved, i do not think it is appropriate to run roughshod over this process. we need time to respond and negotiate about this project. as michael has pointed out, we had about three weeks. it is unfair to ask us to do this. thank you. commissioner fong: let me call a couple of more names. if you are$900.900 $58 to about 1031. this project -- these options are not feasible under -- and current market conditions. thank you very much.
>> good evening. i am with the neighborhood association. i come to you tonight to share our feelings about the eir and have to sure that we have had many neighbors asked us what process is being followed. it is very different than anything they have seen before. we had to answer, quite honestly, we do not know. it is not anything we have seen before. the revised eir was just received nine days ago for such a huge project. we honestly have not been able to do the type of throw home work that we normally do on a document of this importance -- throw hallmark we normally do on a document of this importance. it does not adequately address the housing element. this project will do nothing to
help the city meet its goals, but further exacerbate the problem of too many luxury units being offered in a city that is that 115% gold and luxury units. -- goal in luxury units. this eir needs to be recirculated. it needs to include the current environmental setting. thank you for your time. >> linda chapman. i would like to have these distributed. i would like to ask for a continuance. the dates you heard that outreach was done was done to the people who were subpoenaed. and then there was a private
meeting on the 19th called by the director. people in the neighborhood into -- the very first time ever they were allowed to come to a meeting about the church was less than 48 hours ago. the eir changes cannot quite late. i ask for the files because what i would do with my time is to do outreach. i was denied access to the files. i still not been able to see the prior files. this is not right. we need to have at least a continuance. i would have been writing comment on the structure report, but i do not have time to do that. i cannot get the list anyway. people need to know about this. this is demolition by neglect. a contract for demolition.
nothing can happen without demolition. it undermines everything. i hope you will use the continuance time to read the article. there was a board of supervisors hearing, an investigation about violating ceqa. just a week or so ago, i was told by the owner that the windows were removed. my goodness, that created a whole city process when it was sacred heart church. misinformation was given to the same nonprofits that received a subpoena before. commissioner fong: thank you. [reading names]
>> my name is william stockton. i have a prepared statement. i am just a neighbor and rival of half a block down from the church. i would like -- i live half a block down from the church. i am astonished that there are people who want to stand in the way of this. this is a 24-hour today homeless camp. what i have seen is the proposed project is a beautiful building that will add tremendous value and get rid of the blight on the street. i do not understand what people are saying about the lack of air or views. it will be a beautiful improvement to the neighborhood. the concern about the eir, i do not understand. i think it all seems to be in order.
as a neighbor that lives in the street and has to witness and suffer through this eyesore, i would appreciate approval of this project. commissioner fong: additional public comment? >> i am the council for the california and nevada at annual conference of the united methodist church. the city of san francisco has successfully defended the planning commission's decisions of june 24, 2010, in court. that is absolutely incorrect. in february, the judge reaffirmed his prior decisions and allowed the developer and the churches lawsuits to continue. those questions are now in front
of the court of appeal. the judge was very clear that he believed the church had been treated unfairly and the full fit -- a full hearing was unfair. there has been descriptions that we have not tried outreach. we have tried outreach. the church matched with middle pollek. when this project came up and a resolution came up, we reached out. i did not realize the same people we were calling were the same people that mr. mack and attorney subpoenaed. we did not subpoenaed them. we asked the city attorney's office to call them. there is no horrible conspiracy. we're not trying to destroy the building by letting it fall apart. the sad fact is when mr. kramer designed it, he designed it
without paper. the water had slowly deteriorated the building. thank you. i encourage you to certify the eir. commissioner fong: additional public comment on the eir? >> good evening. i thought might card had been submitted. -- my card had been cemented. we are the property owners of 1600 larkin. i want to speak on behalf of the church itself. that church is a thing of beauty. since about the turn-of-the- century,